Sherko Abbas

Sherko Abbas is a Kurdish-Iraqi artist. He was born in Iran in 1978, where his family lived as refugees, and returned to Iraq when he was two years old. He studied Fine Art in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq and graduated with a Master in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2015. He works within various media including video, performance, text, sculpture and sound. His practice is dedicated to collective memory, sonic and visual memory, as well as the geopolitical situation of contemporary Iraq.

Through his work, he observes how war has been absorbed into local culture in Iraq through music, film, cartoons and children’s toys. Abbas’ works have been exhibited and screened internationally including at: Archaic, the Iraq pavilion at the 57th Venice biennale; Theater of Operations, MoMA PS1, New York; May Flames Pave the Way for You, Arsenal gallery, Białystok; Push Festival, Manchester , UK; Independent Iraqi Film Festival, Online screening; 38th Kassel Documentary Film And Video Festival, Kassel Germany; Aashra, Ashkal Alwan Online Film; Towner International, Towner Eastbourne, Eastbourne; Speaking Across Mountains, Middle East Institute, Washington D.C.; Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Louvre Auditorium, Paris; Baghdad Mon Amour, Institut des Cultures d’Islam, Paris; Vernacularity, Alternativa Festival, Gdansk; Estrangement, The Showroom, London.

Abbas also works as a curator, organizer and coordinator of cultural events. He curated, inter alia, the project “Sermedy Le 437.072 sq km” (2007) and was the operation manager of the project “Post-war Culture in Iraq” (2010), both at the Amna Suraka Museum, Sulaimani. In 2017, in collaboration with the curator Aneta Szyłak, he researched and coordinated the project “In-between Worlds. Kurdish Contemporary Artists”, resulting in a collection of artworks from over 30 Kurdish-Iraqi artists and a book. The collection is now part of the Imago Mundi collection under the auspices of the Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, Treviso, Italy.